Saturday, November 3, 2012

October 27-November 3

Even though we have been on vacation for over a week now, I think Ryan and I have been more busy in that time period than we were the entire tour.

I helped Ryan organize his storage unit, which consumed the first three days of our break. I only popped in occasionally to help him move and organize stuff, haul trash to the winter quarters dumpster, or collect unwanted things for a trip to Goodwill.
All Ryan's hard work paid off though, because now his storage unit is beautiful. With all our props and costumes on display, the unit is almost like a mini clown museum. Looks like we need to start charging admission....

After a weekend of cleaning and organizing, Ryan and I began the construction of some of our props for next year's show.
We made several trips to and from Paris, TX to buy wood, steel, fabric, and other various necessities.
Danny was nice enough to let us use the workshop at his house to build our wooden props. Ryan and Danny did the majority of the construction, but I proved handy with a jigsaw when I was called upon.
I also constructed a slap board almost entirely by myself. See, I'm not completely useless!

Thanks to Danny's help, and his array of tools, we completed our wooden props in just a couple of days. When everything else is built, they will be primed and painted. One step at a time....

On Halloween Ryan and I drove out to Broken Bow, OK to entertain the townspeople at their Main Street Halloween party.
We were there for three hours juggling, stilt walking, and providing all around meet and greet entertainment.
It wasn't a difficult gig, but after going three hours non stop without a break, plus the two hour round trip there and back to Hugo (in addition to working on props all day), we were both worn out.

Earlier today (Saturday the 3rd) Ryan and I volunteered at the 4th Annual Hugo Circus Festival. The event is held to raise money for the Circus City Museum and Park which will be built in Hugo.
There was a silent auction, pony and elephants rides, face painting, circus concessions....pretty much anything you could think of. In addition to all those attractions, there were also three circus shows.
None of the ringmasters from the Hugo shows were available, so Jim Royal asked if I could host.
Apparently someone tipped him off that I had announced on Ringling; they must have seen this video:

Frankly that would have convinced me NOT to ask for my help.

What I didn't realize when I agreed to ringmaster the event was that I would have a lot of extra duties as well. I had to hook up all the sound equipment in the bandstand, do a sound check, get together with the performers to collect their music, and organize the program. Whew. I think I'll stick with clowning.

Luckily I had plenty of people to help me out. Before he left the other day, John Moss talked me through setting up the sound equipment and running a sound check. Jim Royal gave me lots of factoids to use if I needed to stall during the performance, and Tavana ran the music for the three shows.

We did have one nerve racking experience about thirty minutes before the first show. We couldn't find the correct computer with all of the show's music. Jim went to look in the winter quarters office, and I raced to my trailer to grab my laptop.
We ended up using my computer to play music for the shows, even though the show's computer was eventually found.
After solving that problem, another one reared its ugly head: we couldn't get music to play through the big speakers. After a few frustrating minutes where I was pulling out my hair, Ryan diagnosed the complication: a larry cable running from the amp to my laptop.

Once we got up and running everything was fine, and each show was better than the last. I billed myself as the world's shortest ringmaster and presented the following program:

1: Gauchos-The Fusco Family
2: Comedy-Ryan (with my assistance)
3: Hula Hoops-July (and Karina Perez the second show)
4: Juggling-Raul (and Angel Perez the second show)
5: Low Wire-Romario

I was lucky that I didn't have to kill much time during the performance; all of the transitions were quick and easy. I only gave out relevant information to help raise money for the Circus City Museum and Park.

 Angel, July, Me, & Romario
Frick and Frack

Even though Ryan and I have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off since we started our "break", we have found some time to relax. We've continued our "Scare-athon" (even though Halloween is over), and I occasionally go over to visit Dudley, the winter quarters caretaker, and Jan, who was the cook my first year on the road and currently works across the street where Ryan's storage unit is.

Tomorrow Ryan and I drive to Dallas, TX to pick up Derek, the first student of our Circus Clowning Intensive. When we drop him back off on Thursday, we will pick up our second student, Dave.
With two back to back intensives (both with four 12 hour days), Ryan and I are going to be exhausted.
However, I think it is going to be a very fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved.

I will at least post a quick note next weekend, but more likely I'll post a full update once the two intensives are over.
See you then!


Roger Berkley said...

Can't wait to see you next June at the Bergen County Y-JCC in Washington Township, NJ!

Steve Copeland said...

You booked it? That's great!


Bruce "Dr. Molar Magic" Lish said...

Hi Steve,
I had the opportunity to be guest ringmaster today at the Big Apple Circus in NYC and I got to meet Eggroll! He asked how I knew his name, told him I read it on the blog, and he told me to say "hi" to you.
Keep up the good work,
Matthew Lish

Steve Copeland said...

Congrats on being guest ringmaster at Big Apple!
I can't wait to see the show in January; I'm glad you got to meet Eggroll; he is great!